So this week Bob and I decided to crack down on Jessabelle, a supernatural thriller about a young woman, fresh off of a tragic event, who returns to her home town in Louisiana, only to be welcomed by a horrifying spirit hell bent on making her life hell. This is indeed a very summarized plot but hey, that’s what imdb is for, right? The movie stars Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, and a great part from Joelle Carter as well. Written by Robert Ben Garant and directed by Kevin Greutert (click here for a great interview we did with Kevin), it’s a solid film with just the right amount of creep factor, drama, and shock. Overall, I simply have no complaints about this movie. It’s certainly a horror flick, but the other elements are certainly there: drama, sadness, love. Yeah, they’re all there, and it certainly works.
I’m taking a new direction here and listing mentionables and observations that I find interesting
· I loved the setting. The fact that it took place deep in the bayous of Louisiana and the element of voodoo magic and ritual was fitting to the story quite well.
· Joelle Carter was a fantastic compliment to both Sarah’s character and the movie itself.
· I saw elements of Skeleton Key, Candyman, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and a few others.
· Most movies that take a supernatural route have done so in order to tell a story or reveal a truth to the main character. Jessabelle is no exception.
· The film makes great use of going back in the past in order to foreshadow what was to come. I definitely enjoyed the way that was done.
· The truth or reveal in this story was outstanding. I didn’t see it coming (I am not Mr Movie Ending Guesser Guy), and it was pretty horrific
Ok, folks there are my thoughts. Like I said, I definitely liked it. If you get the chance, it’s certainly worth the watch. I’m going to give Jessabelle a solid 6 out of 10 cleavers. You can catch it now on a variety of VOD platforms and rental kiosks. I’d suggest you get to gettin’ now and check it out!
Check out the movie’s imdb details here, and follow along with director Kevin Greutert’s Twitter happenings and goings on @pretzelcuatl
Hello to all our loyal fans! Hope your week is starting off well. It is only Tuesday and for some reason I keep thinking it is Thursday...NOT GOOD. Well...anyhow, I wanted to take the time to write my review on this weekend's film of choice, Jessabelle. This is a 2014 film about a woman who has suffered a tragic loss and is now back at her childhood home in Louisiana while she tries to piece her life back together. While attempting to cope with the tragedy that struck her, she ends up for much much more than she expected once she comes face to face with a demonic spirit.
Yeah, I know. It sounds like your typical "some woman gets possessed" type of film. I thought the exact same thing when I read the plot, "Well, here we fucking go again." Trust me, that is not the case at all. Writer Robert Ben Garant and Director Kevin Greutert do a great job of making this film just creepy enough to keep you watching. I promise.
As for the cast, I was impressed, especially with Sarah Snook who played the lead role of Jessie. Snook pretty much carried the film by herself, not because the rest of the cast was not talented, but that was her character's job...and she did it well. Everyone involved in this film did a great job and played their roles well (in my amateur opinion). I cannot say one negative thing about the cast themselves. Well done on that end, guys!
Now back to the movie. It was pretty good. I am not going to lie, because our company and reputation is built off being honest, but I probably will not see it again. With that said however, I am in no way saying that I did not like Jessabelle. I really did. I am always a fan of mystery, creepiness, voodoo, and racial undertones. To the writer, if you did not intend for there to be racial undertones, my bad, but I thought I caught some. Again, the movie is good. It keeps you wondering throughout exactly what is going on, and the story turns enough throughout to keep you guessing. Also on a positive note, there is a decent body count and that is always good. I like death (JK...kinda...nah JK...umm).
The movie like I said was good. Not great but it was a solid "good". I think I know the reason I cannot classify it as great: the ending. I was not a complete fan of the ending. Of course, no way in hell I am going to give that away in a review, you have to see it for yourself and just maybe you will disagree with me. I have spoken to a few who actually have disagreed and rally like the ending, so who the F am I?
Again, I will close by saying that I did like this movie. It will not make my DVD collection at home, but most films don't. SEE THIS MOVIE. I repeat, SEE THIS MOVIE. It is the type of film that is on the fence with many people. Some may this it is a masterpiece, while others think it sucks. I am in the middle and I admit I am glad I saw it. I recommend a viewing so that you can make your own opinion.
I give Jessabelle 5.5 cleavers out of 10. It was a mind-blowing ending from being a solid 7 however. Good film. Hats off to the entire cast and crew!
So this week Bob and I watched As Above, So Below. Yeah yeah, we’re late to the party a little, but it is what it is. Despite somewhat negative things I’ve heard around the water cooler, this movie seems to still be hanging around, being talked about on social media quite often, so we figured what the heck, let’s check it out. Written and directed by John Erick Dowdle (Devil, Quarantine) and co-written by his brother Drew, the film centers around a crew of explorers who go in search of ancient artifacts via treacherous, centuries-old labyrinths and catacombs beneath the city of Paris. The concept is simple and effective; straight forward.
The movie comes flying right out of the gates with some tension and excitement which was an unexpected surprise, though it does trickle off albeit temporarily. I don’t go into super nerd mode with terminology and fancypants tongue twisters about abstract camera work and so on and so forth, so I’ll just simply say that the setting is gorgeous. These Parisian catacombs are indeed real, and they are absolutely beautiful to see.
One thing that immediately caused me discomfort was the tightness. The crew is jammed into these very narrow, very shallow places all throughout the film, and I’m certain like it did for me, it automatically pays off with ANYONE who experiences even the mildest case of the claustrophobia heebie-jeebies. It was a winning move, no doubt. It’s a common phobia, so to hone in and target that right away was nothing short of well-planned and sinfully smart.
Despite the many horrific things that occur in the movie, it was definitely more psychological than physical horror. Not to say that psychological is any better or worse, of course. As I watched it, I couldn’t help but be reminded of movies like Flatliners and even It; movies that bring back personal demons and create and expose terror that starts from within. Those films did it with success, and to a degree, so did As Above, So Below. Truthfully, it almost reminded me of a movie you’d rent to watch with your girlfriend, though you have no intentions of paying attention to nothing more than getting your p w. I certainly didn’t hate it, and though it may not be the film that gets added to my collection anytime soon, I enjoyed it exactly for what it was. The Dowdle brothers executed admirably, no doubt.
I’m giving this title a solid 6, and any previous hopes of traveling to Paris and exploring are now a distant memory.
You can read more about the movie on its imdb page here, and follow the Dowdle brothers on Twitter @Jedowdle and @DrewDowdle.
The film of choice this week for Bruce and I was As Above, So Below. It was directed by John Erick Dowdle while he and Drew Dowdle teamed up to write the screenplay. This film follows a group of explorers that go below the streets of Paris on a quest to find a stone that is said to contain the secret of eternal life. Of course, once below the city streets, things become rather eventful and the story takes a very disturbing and unique turn. There is plenty of blood, sweat, tears, death, and just total pandemonium in this movie, and that always makes me happy.
Let me just start from the beginning. When I first heard the title of this film I asked, "What the hell does that mean? What a terrible title." Well, the title works and I should probably just shut the hell up when it comes to things like that, because I always make myself look like an idiot. Anyway, moving along. While watching the movie, it becomes evident that this title does make sense and has a place in the story. Something else I noticed was that this was another found footage film. As much as I grow tired of this style, it really was the best way to present this film to us. It gave it a more realistic feel, and although I am not claustrophobic, I found myself at times short of breath due to the tight areas and the thought of being underground in the catacombs.
As for the characters, I will admit that I found myself not really liking or relating to any of them. Typically, I like to try and relate to a character's personalities and their attitude to see who I best compare myself to. In this film, I found myself not particularly caring about any of them. Don't get me wrong, the cast did an amazing job, especially Perdita Weeks who played the lead character, Scarlett. The talent of the actors was not the issue at all; again, it was just the personalities of the characters.
Now onto the story. I always try to figure out where a film is headed and what the "twists and turns" will be throughout. If you are like me, and do this very same thing, let me save you some time. Do not even try to do this. This movie took turns that I never once saw coming and I loved it. If you are a regular reader of our site, you know that I never give away major parts of the films I review, and I will keep that streak alive here, but let me just say that I really did enjoy the movie. Yeah, at times I found myself getting a little bored and irritated, but I did like it. I really did.
In closing, I will simply say that I did like As Above, So Below. I do not see myself going out of my way to see it again, but that is true for 85% of films I see. I am telling you, give this movie a shot. Go to your local Redbox and rent it this weekend. You will not be let down.
I give As Above, So Below 6.5 cleavers out of 10. It's a good movie.
Geez, where do I even begin? This movie gave me smiles from beginning to end. Why is that? Well, I guess what it comes down to is that The Scarehouse was no more and no less than what you would expect out of a classic revenge flick. No, no…I lie. It’s more. It’s sleek, sexy, bitchy, fun, gory, and humorous (where it needs to be). God it’s gory. Deliciously.
The movie was written, directed, produced, & edited by Gavin “One Man Band” Booth and stars, among a cadre of total kick ass women, his wife Sarah Booth, whose duties also included co-writing the story, co-producing, and casting!). Now I don’t know about you all out there, but the thought of working with your spouse is almost a horror movie in and of itself. Could you even imagine?! Yucky. Well the Booth’s seem to have pulled it off exceedingly well, and it’s reflected for the entire 84 minutes. Never once did I get the sense that Sarah’s performance was inhibited by the presence of her husband. Truthfully, I think you’d be able to spot it if there were any hesitation present. Respects to both of them for making that disconnect for the sake of the film.
Wait, you wanted to know about the movie? Ok. Well, without any spoilers, the movie is about 2 good friends who concoct an elaborate plan inside of a haunted house (it was even filmed in an actual haunted house attraction in Windsor, Ontario) to seek revenge on their former sorority sisters that wronged them in the past. It gets brutal quick, but does so in such a manner that is 100% enjoyable and fresh. We are treated to great acting, solid character development (we get to know the perfect tasty morsel amounts of what we need to about the sorority sisters via great flashback cuts), gruesome twists and turns around almost every corner, and a refreshingly hefty portion of some fun-lovin’, let’s-play-and-get-naked-and-say-cunt-a lot girl time. What’s not to love, right? Listen carefully, and you’ll also be privy to a nice array of well-placed smartass comments and witty sidebar from those innocent souls who are actually there to enjoy the haunted house. All of this culminates into an ending unlike any other, and one at which you will certainly gasp. I’m thinking about it again, and you won’t even believe.
I could go on and on, but I’d be inching closer to fanboy status, and you all know how I try to avoid that. I loved the movie. I did. It’s simple, effective, direct, brutally wild-eyed and entertaining, and smart to boot. I think that’s what distinguishes it from other similar horror flicks. It’s a super smart film. Remember how there used to be a wide range of hot sauces and then Sriracha moved on to the hot sauce scene and we were all like, “Holy shit…now THIS is hot sauce!!!”? Yeah, that’s what The Scarehouse is for revenge flicks. So…you know…go ahead, put it on your eggs.
It’s easily a 7.5 out of 10 on ye’ old cleaver scale for me, and I’m just little ol’ me. This also marks the 1st time ever that Bob and I have had the same rating on a film. Hell, it’s already won “Best Feature” at the NYC Horror Film Festival, so that should tell you something right there. The DVD comes out next month, and I know I’ll own a copy. Don't be THAT person to be caught withouth.
You can catch Gavin and Sarah on Twitter @gavinbooth and @sarahfilmbooth and the movie @ScareHouseMovie.
So I had the opportunity and extreme honor to get an early look at Gavin Michael Booth's new film, The Scarehouse, in a private viewing yesterday. I had never heard of this film so had no idea what to expect going into it. Before I break it down a little, let me start my saying I was pleasantly surprised in what I saw and am excited to be one of the first to give this film a review.
Many times when I screen films early, I leave wondering why I wasted nearly two hours of my life, and I want to punch the writer in the nuts for making me do so. This film was so well done that time flew by and I found myself wanting more. The premise is two friends open a Halloween fun house on "Devil's Night" and the night ends up being judgment day for some sorority sisters. I guess that is the best way to put it. It may sound like your cliche "sorority girl horror film"but it is really not. They push the limits and it works.
The two lead characters are played by Sarah Booth and Kimberly-Sue Murray. Let me just get to it, these chicks are legit. They hold no punches and deliver pure evil the entire film, especially Corey (Played by Sarah Booth). There were some cheesy one liners and exchanges between the two at times that I could have done without, but that is present in about 98% of horror films, so I do not hold it against them. Also early on in the movie, I was wondering if the background music and sounds were ever going to stop. As the film progressed, it worked, and worked well with the flow and mood of the movie...which is why I am not a director or producer, what the hell do I know?
I do not want to give away much of the story, but let me say that you will not be let down. If you like sick and demented kills, revenge, and a solid story, check this film out.
I am telling you, it may not be an all time cult classic, but The Scarehouse is WELL worth the watch. I am actually giving it my highest rating of any film I have seen since joining this site...at least I think so. I cannot recall a film I rated higher to date. Hats off to Gavin, Sarah, Kimberly-Sue, and the rest of the cast and crew. Job well done!!!
I give Gavin Michael Booth’s The Scarehouse, 7.5 out of 10 cleavers.
Last week I sat down to finally get my peepers on Kevin Smith’s new film Tusk, a horror/comedy of nautical proportions which will undoubtedly fulfill anyone’s sweet tooth for all things macabre and witty. With each outlandishly terrifying and hilarious moment, I was reminded of how great of a writer Kevin Smith truly is. There are always Kevin Smith nay-sayers out there, but I would challenge those people to sit through any Kevin Smith movie and NOT accidentally walk away instantly remembering hokey one-liners and puns that will certainly make them groan with satisfaction from realizing they were intelligent enough to get it. Tusk is no exception. It’s wonderfully written, even poetic at times but still speckled with the humor we have all come to love and expect from Smith. Me? Oh, he gets me with the details every time. From the incessant yet adorable cheap-shot nitpicking at all things Canadian (up to an especially including that damn Chug Eh Lug cup) to Justin Long’s pretentious moustache, Kevin Smith had me from start to finish.
If you know nothing of the story, Tusk follows the mental and physical destruction of a smarmy, self-indulgent podcaster (Long) who travels to Canada to follow a lead for a story. While there, he is inadvertently introduced to a sea-faring man of many fantastical stories, the best of which he is about to tell, albeit unbeknownst to Long’s character. It culminates into something at which you will certainly gasp, and though I could see it unfolding just before its bloody best, it still delivered in an appalling and entertaining way that 100% mortified me.
The cast was developed cleverly, though I could have done without Long’s sidekick, whose laughter is the kind of thing of which internet trolling is made. The introduction of Guy Lapointe (and the actor that portrayed him), seemed a bit too forced but in all fairness took nothing away from the story overall. I’m sure it had nothing to do with Smith’s next project Yoga Hosers, scheduled for 2015 and featuring the same character. Long’s character Wallace was greasy and obnoxious almost to the point of complete annoyance had it not been for his quick wit and sarcasm. But the real accolades here go to actor Michael Parks, who plays the devilish and twisted land-lubber Howard Howe. He is precisely what you would expect if Hannibal Lecter had a sense of humor and a penchant for poetry and rhythm. He is absolutely lip-lickingly evil, and that aspect definitely makes the film a win for me.
Is it a horror with comedy elements? Is it a comedy with horror elements? Why bother categorizing it? For me, it nestles comfortably right in the middle, like that spot in your couch where the cushions meet.
Definitely a solid 7 out of 10 cleavers.
Tusk is lurking in the depths now on DVD/bluray as well as a myriad of other streaming and VOD services. Check out the imdb details here and follow Kevin Smith on Twitter @ThatKevinSmith.
When someone asks you, “Do you like Kevin Smith movies?” you immediately think about Clerks, Mallrats, Jay & Silent Bob, etc. You don’t think horror…ever. Well, that has changed for me. I am a Kevin Smith fan, even the movies of his I claim to not like (Dogma, Chasing Amy), I still find myself laughing and quoting at times, so I guess deep down, I do like those films. Anyhow, back to this review. Just a week or so ago, I checked out a film written and directed by Mr. Smith titled Tusk. I went into this movie not really knowing what to expect since it is categorized as a comedy/horror but I decided to open my mind and what it was all about.
IMDB describes the plot like this: “When podcaster Wallace travels to Canada to interview someone, he winds up meeting a strange man named Howe who has many stories to tell about his past life during his interview. Wallace wakes up the next day finding out Howe isn’t the person he thought he was. Howe has plans to surgically and mentally turn Wallace into a walrus.” Well, as crazy as it sounds, that is exactly what you get.
As this film continued, I began asking myself “Is this more funny or is it truly a horror?” I ended up giving up and just enjoying. As always, Kevin Smith did a great job with the writing. There was one character I was not too fond of, but overall the cast did a good job. You know my style by now. I do not like giving up much, if not any, of the story, but I can assure you that it you see this film, you will not be let down. It is a little strange I will admit, but hell sometimes that is what makes these movies so damn intriguing. Going back to the summary, when I initially read it, the first thing that came to my mind was The Human Centipede. This is NOTHING like that film…thank god!
Long story short…Kevin Smith did a pretty good job here, like he usually does. Check out Tusk, enjoy it for what it is, and tell your friends about it.
I gave Tusk 7 out of 10 cleavers and recommend you seeing it ASAP.